“It kicked off with the late June heatwave and we’ve had two since then,” said BCFGA general manager Glen Lucas.
Lucas says the latest projections indicate a 15 per cent reduction in this year’s apple crop and early season cherry projections were for 50-70 per cent losses.
Tree fruit growers are increasingly desperate for financial support from the BC government, he added.
The BCFGA is pushing to be included in a joint federal-provincial AgriRecovery Program to provide government support for heat-impacted commodities. The program has already been put in place in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, they have committed to their matching share of the federal-provincial program.
“Growing tree fruit has been very challenging the past few years. Our growers support food security and the Agricultural Land Reserve and we would naturally like to see the same level of commitment from the BC government,” said Pinder Dhaliwal, president of the BC Fruit Growers’ Association.
Lucas says in the short-term AgriRecovery funding could assist with numerous initiatives to reduce financial risk and aid recovery in the apple and cherry sectors, ranging from helping fight disease, increasing storage and delivery capacity, testing and diversion of damaged products to juice.
Source – https://www.freshplaza.com